Destiny 2: How Bungie Can Win Us Back

Ahead of today's gameplay reveal, the DualShockers staff shares their thoughts on how Destiny 2 can (potentially) build on the promise of the original game.

Fans of Activision and Bungie’s galaxy-spanning shooter Destiny have a lot to look forward to today with the highly-anticipated reveal of this fall’s Destiny 2, for various reasons. Aside from bringing players into a new chapter of the shooter series, Bungie has an opportunity to build and refine the elements of the original Destiny, and hopefully Destiny 2 can be what the first game always sought to be.

Ahead of today’s reveal for Destiny 2, the DualShockers staff gathered some of their thoughts of what Destiny 2 can offer that builds on what made Destiny great – its refined shooting gameplay, weapons, and more – and what may not have worked so well the first time around, such as the progression and loot grind.

Destiny 2’s first gameplay reveal will be taking place today at 10am PT/1pm ET – for our full thoughts on what we want to see from the sequel: read on, Guardians.

Noah Buttner, Staff Writer

I really enjoyed figuring out raids with my friends. I mean REALLY enjoyed it. When we figured out how to beat the puzzle like fights of Wrath of The Machine, the game was at its strongest. Each player had worked hard to even be able to enter the raid, and now they had to work hard to beat it. My growth in power as a Guardian felt linear and rewarding.

The problem with that was after we had killed the expansion’s new big baddie, there were long stretches of time where I had nothing to do. I believe that Destiny 2 is going to need to work harder on providing players with meaningful content each month.

I don’t mean Iron Banner here and there, or Sparrow Racing League. I’m talking new raids and dungeons that are being released regularly. On a sidenote: I also want the stories to make more sense. World of Warcraft has a really good way of introducing new raids by having these global events across the world, which also help to give the story some gravity. I felt that with Rise of Iron especially, players were introduced to SIVA – this big bad technological threat that predated Guardians themselves – and then you had won. If Destiny 2 is going to succeed in making players care about the game’s world, there can’t be anymore “I don’t have time to explain why I don’t have time to explain.”

Jordan Loeffler, Staff Writer

Back when Destiny was the new hotness, I was all over it. I watched closely as its development progressed, made note of each new trailer, each and every announcement. When the beta finally released, I probably played the Devil’s Lair strike mission 20-30 times over the course of my weekend with it. It really didn’t bother me to keep playing the same thing over and over and over. Solid gameplay mechanics will do that.

When the game officially launched, I was already hooked. Then, something happened that I didn’t expect. I had leveled my Titan to its highest potential and regularly took part in the raid (Vault of Glass was the only one back in those days), casting my safety bubble and dancing inside it, and having a grand time with my cohorts. I just somehow got a little disappointed in the rest of it.

For me, the best parts of Destiny were those raids: forming teams, plans, and dying a lot. There are probably a lot of folks out there who feel similarly. For me, it eventually got to the point where I didn’t want to play the rest of the game anymore. It wasn’t fun to do all of the side crap: usually solo, usually laying waste to everything I found with ease. I wanted more of the meaningful experience I’d gotten from running the Vault with a bunch of strangers. When the House of Wolves expansion eventually released, promising more of the same, I didn’t much care (even with the lure of a new raid), played the game less (maybe the weekly raid), and eventually lost interest entirely.

My love loss with Destiny is based in how Bungie made one gameplay element vastly outshine the rest and hardly provided enough support in the early days to make the rest of the game worth the time. What would Destiny 2 need to bring me back? Five raids at launch. Yes, I’m serious.

Ryan Meitzler, Features Editor 

Given that Destiny was one of the first games I got back when I got my PS4, the hype and anticipation that players had for the original game made it seem, initially, like one of the games that would come to define the early part of this console cycle.

For better or worse, I enjoyed my time with the original, “vanilla” Destiny, despite having much of my criticism be the usual feedback that players had about the original game: repetitive gameplay/mission structure, a loot system that often felt unrewarding or manipulative of players’ time, and a story that felt confined (largely) to the backseat ahead of the gameplay.

As many of our staff already pointed out, it seems that Bungie recognizes Destiny 2 as the chance to refine these rough edges from the original game with the clean slate that its sequel represents. While Destiny‘s expansions gradually improved on some aspects of the game, such as the excellent The Taken King, I found myself more of a “lapsed” Destiny player that only played for a few weeks at a time whenever a new expansion or a substantial content update was released. Since The Taken King, I haven’t gone back to the game; I skipped Rise of Iron entirely, last year, feeling like it would be “more of the same.”

Though some fans have mourned the fact that Destiny 2 is a sequel rather than a major new expansion to the original game, I find it a refreshing experience that Bungie has the chance to hone some of the feedback from the first game while building on what I loved from it. Destiny easily had some of the best and most satisfying shooting mechanics of this generation (so far), and its story – though vague and hollow at some points – has the potential for something grander to complement its excellent art direction and visuals.

While we only have a few hours to wait and see what Destiny 2 will really look like with today’s reveal of the game, I’m hoping, more than anything, that Destiny 2 finally delivers on the promise of the first game. Even if the first game didn’t quite deliver on giving players an expansive universe with hundreds of planets to explore, Destiny still has a universe I’m more than willing to keep going back to if Destiny 2 can make good on that potential.

Logan Moore, Staff Writer

As someone who skipped out on the original Destiny entirely, the main thing that I want to see from the sequel is Bungie’s willingness to bring in new players.

I don’t dislike the Destiny formula and I am intrigued by what the sequel has to offer. However, I want Bungie to encourage me and let me know that if I get the game on Day One like everyone else, I won’t feel left out in any way for missing the first game.

I’m sure that returning players will have certain perks or maybe unique pieces of armor that I won’t have access too — and that’s fine. At its core though, I just want Destiny 2 to prove that it is as accommodating to new players as it is to old ones.

Tanner Pierce, Staff Writer

I was one of the many people who was burned by “Year 1” Destiny. While the game has most certainly improved over time, it has made me cautious about Destiny 2.

One of the subjects that needs to be addressed is the randomness of its reward system. While MMOs rely on random loot and rewards, Bungie needs to make Destiny 2 feel rewarding, which is something I didn’t feel once during my entire time with the first game; make the two hours I spent doing a raid worth it to me.

The other subject Destiny 2 needs to nail is the story. The first game had little to no narrative, and that’s something that has to change. With a world as immense and expansive as Destiny‘s, a narrative with character arcs and twists would be a perfect fit.

Marc Villa, Staff Writer

I feel like Destiny 2 has a lot to prove this time around. While the first game had amazing gunplay, the lack of content made the game feel stale rather quickly, even after DLC releases.

One of the things I am truly hoping that Destiny 2 addresses is the content drought between expansions. I hope the expansions we get are major expansions in the same vein as other MMO expansions: something that will take us months to complete. Even if we don’t get massive expansions, some occasional creative events could help fill this gap of content: and no I’m not talking about Sparrow League Racing events.

The other thing that Destiny 2 really needs, not just for me, but for all players is more loot and customization options. I can’t tell you how tired I am of seeing the same builds across high Light-level players. Give us unique gear sets that have unique modifiers depending on how many pieces of that set we have on. I think more frequent meaningful loot drops would be a nice addition to Destiny 2, similar to Diablo III’s Loot 2.0 update.

More customization options could come in the form of a “Transmog” system, allowing you to keep appearances of any gear you have previously looted and or equipped. This would allow us to completely customize our appearance so we all don’t look the same, even if we are all wearing the same gear underneath the Transmog.

Al Zamora, Co-Founder

Things I would love to see in Destiny 2 as a player who has put in a few hundred hours into the original and expansions:

  • Set gear with set bonuses – collecting a raid set never yielded anything positive other than a look. You should get bonuses for collecting a certain number of pieces.
  • Functionality for ships – until now, the ships serve nothing more than vanity. It would be cool if they served a purpose or gave some kind of bonus.
  • New subclass or character type – I doubt there will be a new character type but it would be nice. The game definitely needs a new subclass for each character to give people something new to do.
  • Ability to move from planet to planet – we shouldn’t have to go to orbit in order to go places anymore. This just added to load times and wasted time. Also we don’t need multiple Towers: one is more than enough.
  • Include all old content – leave in the guns, strikes and raids from old, this just adds more content. Perhaps switch up enemies or change routes or mechanics, but why remove them?
  • Also ability to change the look of gear – think the “Transmog” feature from Diablo III. Make your helmet look like anything you have already looted: this gives more flexibility to players’ looks.

Destiny 2 will release for PS4, Xbox One, and PC on September 8th, 2017. Stay tuned for our coverage of today’s reveal, along with a hands-on preview and gameplay footage.

Excited for today’s Destiny 2 reveal? Share your comments and thoughts down below on what you’re hoping to see from the game!

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DualShockers Staff

Since publishing our first article in July of 2009, DualShockers has become an established name in the video game industry. What initially set out to be a means of “getting into E3” has transformed into a 24/7 365 publication that is renown by hardcore gamers throughout the world for breaking and reporting news in the video game industry — and all things related to video games — as it happens.

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